If you’ve ever been to Niagara Falls, you’ll have seen how those passenger boats go right through the foam, almost right under the deluge of water. We went, kitted out in the blue macs they distributed, as you get absolutely soaked from the spray. The majesty of those falls is amazing from a distance; it is awesome close up. It was certainly an unforgettable experience. You come scarily close to the intense power of the falls, but those boat drivers know exactly how far you can go and stay safe.
It was a bit like that when Moses approached the burning bush. (Exodus 3:5-6) He’d never been that close to God before, so how could he know how close was safe? So God warned him – “Do not come any closer.” In our Evangelical/Pentecostal/Charismatic/Modern Christianity, we find it hard to imagine a God who is not totally approachable. We talk in terms of drawing close to God, and of course that is true too. What we lose sight of is the awesome terrible majesty of an all-powerful God.
And yet he bids us come! God initiated this interaction with Moses when he drew him by the amazing sight of the burning bush, and called him by name. So how can we safely approach the throne of this supreme, omnipotent, almighty God?
God knew there was a problem, that he could not draw man fully to himself, because of our sin and wrongdoing. We could not safely come close enough to him, but he could send his son to be one of us, to draw close to us, and to pay the price for our wrongdoing by a ghastly, bloody death.
“Therefore, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…” (Hebrews 10:19-22)
God made this ‘new and living way’ possible because he wanted us to know him as our Friend. But let’s be clear about this. Our friend, not our chum. Let us never lose sight of the majesty of our all-powerful God.“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13) And let us be so amazed and grateful that he still bids us come.